Your clients’ exposure to cybercrime doesn’t end at the office door. Hackers have a variety of ways to access critical business information via phishing, ransomware, and malware. One of the latest trends in cyberattacks involves the use of public phone-charging stations. Although these charging stations are convenient and appear safe, they can come with hidden risks. Read on to discover what this threat entails and what you can do to protect your clients.
The FBI’s Warning on Charging Stations
The FBI has issued a warning on the use of public charging stations. Those banks of charging cables are highly susceptible to malware that can be installed by bad actors and then transferred to unsuspecting users via a USB port. Once installed, the malware compromises the device’s security enabling the theft of data such as usernames and passwords, credit card information, and sensitive personal information.
Public phone-charging stations are often found in airports, hotels, and shopping centers, and cybercriminals are known for appropriating the convenience of these amenities. The so-called “juice jacking” threat has been known since 2019, but the FCC and FBI periodically release updated warnings to keep the public aware and alert when in the vicinity of a public charging station.
4 Tips to Avoid Juice Jacking (and Other Cyber Risks)
Here are some practical steps that you can take to reduce your risk of this type of cybercrime:
- Avoid the Use of Public Charging Stations: The best way to protect yourself from a juice jacking attack is to avoid using public charging stations altogether.
- Bring Your Own Equipment: When you need to charge your device on the go, use your own USB charging cable and plug into a wall outlet.
- Pack a Portable Charger: No available wall outlet? Toss a portable charger into your bag along with your own USB cable. Using a trusted portable charger lets you bypass charging stations and means you don’t have to be tethered to a wall outlet in an airport or other public space.
- Stay Alert to the Risks: If you find yourself in an emergency situation and have no option other than a public charging station, stay mindful of the threat. At a minimum, power off your device before plugging into an unknown charging station.
Data breaches like those resulting from juice jacking can lead to costly remediation, insurance claims, lawsuits, and statutory penalties. If your clients use smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other portable devices, they need to be aware of the risks associated with using public charging stations. Looking for additional ways to protect your clients from the risks associated with data breaches and other cybercrime? Check out MiniCo’s Cyber Insurance program for commercial businesses. Contact one of our cyber liability experts to get a quote.